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Mark Massicotte of L’Anse Manufacturing

"If you want to be successful in business, you need really honest inputs, and this group doesn’t pull any punches," says Mark Massicotte.

CEO Mark Massicotte leads L’Anse Manufacturing Inc., which provides precision machining to a variety of industries. Based in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, L’Anse Manufacturing has been generating strong sales increases of 25 percent, and Massicotte links much of the growth to joining a Virtual PeerSpectives roundtable in May 2018.

Prior to PeerSpectives, Massicotte participated in a roundtable comprised of CEOs from local companies. “I wasn’t happy,” Massicotte said. “It far more expensive than PeerSpectives, and the members weren’t focused on growth — yet I was. I wanted to scale my business and needed an exciting group of people who weren’t afraid to be honest and open.”

Indeed, the candor of conversation within his PeerSpectives roundtable is a huge benefit, Massicotte says: “Often when you ask for feedback, people tell you what they think you want to hear, but that’s not very helpful. If you want to be successful in business, you need really honest inputs, and this group doesn’t pull any punches.”

Other aspects of the roundtable that Massicotte values include:

  • Working “on” the business. The monthly roundtable meetings enable him to break away from daily distractions and focus on strategic issues, ranging from HR and personnel development to capital investment. “Hearing others talk about pitfalls they’ve encountered while growing their companies helps me avoid the same problems,” Massicotte says. “And many of their businesses have nothing to do with mine, which is even better because the parallels are there, yet presented in a context I never would have thought of.”

  • Experience-based. Feedback from roundtable members is easy to accept because PeerSpectives is based on sharing experiences rather than giving advice. “It’s not accusatory,” Massicotte explains. “People simply say ‘Here’s what happened to me,” which enables you to put the information in a context that’s relevant for your situation.”

  • Defuse emotions. “The roundtable enables you to compartmentalize some of the emotional decisions you’ve made and put a more factual narrative to them, which is critical for growth,” Massicotte says. “You can then see ways to begin implementing change — and revisit those changes the following month to evaluate their success.” Massicotte looks to his roundtable members to remind him of actions he planned to take.

  • Diverse, high-quality participants. “PeerSpectives gives you access to people who are top-level performers,” Massicotte says. “These people have broadened my awareness of what’s going on in the world.”

  • Level playing field. And though other members are from larger cities and different industries, within the roundtable everyone is an equal, Massicotte says. “As a second-stage CEO, we all speak the same language.”

Bonding via video technology can be a bit slower than in person, Massicotte admits. “Yet that may have something to do with age demographics. I’ve had to get more comfortable with technology and learn to communicate more like the younger generation — which isn’t a bad thing at all.”

Would he recommend PeerSpectives to another business owner? “Absolutely,” Massicotte. “In addition to the diverse experiences and high quality of roundtable members, the facilitation of these conversations is just impeccable. The value of this offering is worth millions of dollars. If you’re looking to grow your business, you can’t afford not to do this.”